But according to Nicholas Wapshott, the Reagan/Thatcher relationship was much deeper than an alliance of mutual interests. Drawing on interviews with those closest to them, as well as on hundreds of recently declassified private letters and telephone calls, Wapshott depicts a more complex, personal, and sometimes argumentative relationship than has previously been revealed.
©2007 Nicholas Wapshott; (P)2007 Tantor
"Throughout, Wapshott favors the nitty-gritty, painting a portrait of the friendship that shaped the 1980s and the alliance that won the Cold War." (Publishers Weekly)
This book could have been so much more. It dwelt on personal trivia, in a tone only a fawning sentimentalist could be satisfied by. There were so many bigger issues and impacts circling through these times and people, than are adequately dealt with here. At some point late in the book I surrendered, as I rarely do, and stopped listening.
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
My intuition led me to false expectations concerning this book since I expected the author to focus on our two heroes for the period when they were in power at the same time, the golden period of conservatism. The first book was almost entirely consumed with the individual upbringings of two...well...rather ordinary people with ordinary lives. They each go to church; each had humdrum upbringings; appeared in B movies; found a husband wealthy enough to provide for her concentration on politics. I am not surprised I was bored stiff. So...why 4 Stars? Well, for those that had not read a Thatcher or Reagan biography, the first book may be helpful, needed or even interesting. For my part, the depth of research and the dialog included was most stimulating. The relationships amongst all those close to the seat of power and how they were managed by the two of them were well highlighted. The author has the clearest style and the narrator is similarly easy to follow. I would recommend that he stop trying to mimic American accents - Carter and Reagan do not really sound alike (!) - but his rendition of Thatcher was 'spot on'. I gained a lot from this latter book and recommend it fully.
I agree with another reviewer disappointed in the first section of the book on the early lives and careers of President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher. The second section picked up as it examined their times in office, their cooperation, their conflicts. But much of the story reads like a society page in the newspaper. The president gave Thatcher a Steuben eagle. A concern was picking just the right horse for the president to ride with the queen. And the endless number of notes and messages of mutual support. Yes it is all true, and yes it was their relationship, and yes it makes for an uninteresting tale. But yes I did learn about the specifics of their intertwined time in office.
Heroic, Patriotic, Leaders
Keynes Hayek. Both are wonderful!
Cry. Loved it.
I never heard of Nicholas Wapshott before Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and Keynes Hayek, but he's quickly becomming my favorite writer and biographer.
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